FOURTH OF JULY, OUTDOOR FESTIVALS: No Picnic for Pets
June 27, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
UPDATE, JULY 4, 2020: This year, in the middle of a pandemic, July 4 of 2020 is of course very different from years past. However, some of the information below, published last year, may still be applicable to pet owners during any 2020 celebrations that will be taking place.
The days immediately following July 4 can result in increased numbers of stray animals admitted to animal control facilities and humane societies, and often the explosive sound of fireworks is to blame. Fireworks cause many pets to panic, resulting in extreme and sometimes dangerous escape measures from homes or yards. Without identification, it is nearly impossible to reunite pet with owner. Please keep the following tips in mind this holiday:
* ENSURE ALL ANIMALS ARE WEARING CURRENT IDENTIFICATION! Even if the animal has microchip identification, place a collar with an ID tag on your pet. If a neighbor finds your animal, an ID collar that includes your phone number can lead to a faster reunion.
* DON’T TAKE ANIMALS TO FIREWORKS DISPLAYS. A startled animal may not only break free and run away, but may also bite. An animal confined to a closed vehicle during these displays can experience an overwhelming stress level that can cause physical harm to the pet, and/or damage to the vehicle’s interior.
* HAVE SOMEONE HOME WITH NERVOUS PETS DURING FIREWORKS. If the animal is with someone he or she knows, the pet’s stress level will be greatly reduced. Keep the volume on a television or radio turned up to block some of the noise. ThunderShirts reportedly work to calm the anxiety felt by some dogs and cats when they can hear fireworks, thunder, even when they experience separation anxiety, and can be found in many local pet supply shops and online.
If a pet manages to escape, community members can visit the SPCA’s Lost & Found/Stray Animals page at YourSPCA.org, which includes effective ways to find a lost pet. A link to local animal control facilities can also be found on that page.
The sounds and sights of fireworks often have the ability to turn the most calm, quiet, and non-aggressive pet into a stressed, frightened animal. Home is the safest place for pets this holiday. Home is also the safest place for pets on extremely hot days, during arts festivals, food festivals, and other crowded outdoor events. Very hot weather paired with immense crowds of people and loud, strange noises heighten the stress level for many animals. Your pet’s body is closer to the asphalt and can heat up quickly. The hot pavement can also burn unprotected, sensitive paw pads
If you bring your dog to these events and realize it’s becoming too overwhelming for him or her, DON’T KEEP YOUR DOG IN A TURNED-OFF CAR WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING FOR ANY AMOUNT OF TIME! The effects of heatstroke on even slightly warm days begin within mere minutes.
See the SPCA’s additional, important reminders for keeping pets safe in the summer heat here.
If you witness animal cruelty or see any animal in need of rescue or emergency assistance this summer, the SPCA Serving Erie County may be able to help. Please call the following numbers depending on the day and time:
Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.: 716-875-7360
Monday – Saturday, 4 p.m. – midnight: 716-449-0363
Sunday, 8 a.m. – midnight: 716-449-0363 .